Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Spiritual Worship (Psalm 135)

"Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD; Praise Him, O you servants of the LORD!" (Ps. 135:1)

The writer of Psalm 135 intended to stir the nation of Israel to consider its God, to worship Him in a proper manner and with a sincere heart of praise. The psalms are filled with such exhortations to praise the Lord, to consider His mighty power in creation, His sovereign mercy in redemption, and His fatherly care in providence.

When you enter worship, do you possess a correct view of God’s nature? Who is this God of glory whom you worship in church Sunday after Sunday, whom you serve throughout the week, whom you bow before in prayer? Do you give Him praise that flows from a heart that falls prostrate before His power? Can you say, “I know that the LORD is great, and our Lord is above all gods”? Do you praise God because He is good (v. 3), because He does whatever pleases Him (v. 6)? Do you praise Him because He is a righteous judge, yet one who shows mercy to His chosen people: “For the LORD will judge His people, and He will have compassion on His servants” (v. 14)?

Too often the church forgets who God is. It becomes distracted by the mundane issues of church life. It is drawn away from God. If we enter worship with our eyes focused on God instead of on each other, the color of the carpet, or the pastor’s tie of the day, we find worship more fulfilling.

Sadly, we often direct our attention to earthly matters instead of heavenly. Have we offended any visitors? Is everyone comfortable with the service? Have we included the right amount of evangelism in the sermon message? Have we made the music appealing to everyone? Has everyone had an opportunity to share in the worship? While these things are certainly consequential, they can become distractions, and God can become lost amid petty concerns.

Calvin writes, “Particular attention is to be paid to those passages of Scripture which speak in such high terms of that worship of God which is spiritual; otherwise we may be led, in the exercise of misguided zeal, to spend our labor upon trifles, and in this respect imitate the example of too many who have wearied themselves with ridiculous attempts to invent additions to the service of God, while they have neglected what is of all other things most important.”

Take some time to reflect on how you worship the Lord. Are you distracted? Concerned about inconsequential matters? Insincere and unfocused in your praise? This Saturday, take some time to prepare to worship God, to focus solely on Him, and give Him due praise. God will honor your preparation on Sunday.